How to use Filezilla with Dropbox

Filezilla is one of my most used applications. It is an awesome (and free) FTP application that makes connecting to multiple Webservers as well as storing information about each FTP connection very simple and effective. I use filezilla when moving WordPress Sites or editing WordPress files (e.g. style.css). I thoroughly recemmend that anyone who needs FTP access regularly use Filezilla.

Update: This article was originally written for Windows versions up to Windows 7. This instructions below have been tested and work with Windows 8.

Why use Filezilla and Dropbox

As Filezilla is a locally installed application it is necessary to install Filezilla on each PC/Mac/Linux computer used. The problem however is that the file that stores the ‘Site Manager’ settings (i.e. FTP hosts, Usernames, Passwords, Ports etc.) is by default kept in the same folder as the application install. This means that if you save FTP settings on one computer then that information won’t be available on another computer (unless you import the settings or manually setup the FTP connection on the second computer … which is a nightmare to maintain).

This is where Dropbox comes in very useful. Dropbox makes it incredibly simple to store and share files securely ‘in the cloud’ as well as sync those files between multiple computers. By placing the Filezilla sitemanager.xml file (the files that contains the ‘Site Manager’ settings) in Dropbox and ‘tricking’ Filezilla into using the Dropbox located sitemanager.xml, we can have a single source of ’Site Manager’ settings for use on all computers.

How to Setup Filezilla to use Dropbox

The means to use the Filezilla sitemanager.xml file in Dropbox makes use of hardlinks (hardlinks/hard-links make it possible to have a single file that is referenced in multiple folders/directories in NTFS). Below it is explained how to configure Windows7 to use Dropbox for Filezilla settings. Using Filezilla with Dropbox on Mac or Linux is well documented on the Web so I won’t go into that in the instructions below.

  1. Move sitemanager.xml to your Dropbox (this is usually at C:Users -> [User] -> AppData -> Roaming -> FileZilla -> sitemanager.xml note: you’ll need to be able to view hidden files in Windows Explorer).
  2. Download and install the two files per Gerhild and Hermann.
  3. In your Dropbox, alternate click sitemanager.xml and select ‘Pick Link Source’.Select 'Pick Link Source' at the original file when using hard-links in Windows NTFS
  4. Go to the folder where sitemanager.xml was originally located (i.e. where you moved sitemanager.xml from in step 1 above), alternate click and select ‘Drop As…’ > ‘Symbolic Link’.It is simple to use Dropbox for any Windows 7 file
  1. Follow steps 2, 3 and 4 above for your other computers using the sitemanager.xml in your Dropbox.

The solution described has saved me the continuous hassle of keeping multiple Filezilla Site Managers in Sync. Please let me know if the solution helps you out.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Gary – worked great on W7 64-bit for me – I found your approach easier than flippertie’s.

    I also tried to access my nice new Dropboxed sitemanager.xml from my Mac – here’s the command i used:

    ln -s /users/tom/Dropbox/_shared_configurations/sitemanager.xml /users/tom/.filezilla/sitemanager.xml

    very nice, wish I’d done this a loooong time ago

    thanks,
    Tom

  2. says

    Great ! Excellent !! Tremendous !!! And it works for everything; not only FileZilla, every programs that store information on the hard disk.

    Thanks Gary, it’s a gold article !

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